Williams talks of WPD shakeup; City Council reacts

By Peter MacArthur & Tom Lehman 9:22am, December 3, 2013 - Updated 10:28pm, December 3, 2013
"I accept full responsibility. It is my job to clean this up, turn this city around."

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In the wake of two more shootings in Wilmington Monday night, Mayor Dennis Williams tells Delaware's Morning News that he is looking at making changes in his administration in an effort to curb violence that's been plaguing his city.

"I'm talking about the command staff of the police department, yes. I had a meeting with them yesterday and brought them in and told them this just can't go on any longer. We have to make some adjustments here, things have to change. If things don't change I will be looking for new leadership and you can put me on record for saying that," says Williams,

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Williams says there are pockets within the police department who don't agree with his approach to crime, such as stop and frisk, and he plans to make the changes he sees as necessary to make Wilmington streets safer.

Wilmington police would not comment on Williams' comments regarding a potential leadership change.

City Council members express concern over potential shakeup

A potential shakeup of leadership in the Wilmington Police Department isn't a good idea, said City Councilman Mike Brown.

The chair of Wilmington's public safety committee also defended Police Chief Christine Dunning, who was appointed to the position in January.

"It is not her fault that people are shooting people," Brown said. "Even if you had a cop on every corner, you wouldn't be able to stop it."

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Council President Theo Gregory believes it's too early for Williams to consider a change at the top of the police department.

Gregory says the current police brass should be given a chance to implement a clear policing strategy.

"I think it's too soon because we've not had a clear plan. We've engaged in cliches about getting tough on crime, a lot of cliches but without the articulation of a firm path forward," Gregory says.

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"Was she really given a chance? This police chief has layers of people to go through before she can even implement anything," Brown said.

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